One Motor Initial review, small frame size bike

Jakes Simmons

New Member
I recently installed the OneMotor package with extended battery on my girlfriend’s bike. She has about 40 miles on it so far and I thought I would write our initial experiences with the package for the benefit of other folks considering the OneMotor. Hope to update after twelve months.
To save time for those riders on the fence about purchasing one, the short answer is YES! This is a great device, well thought through design, produced in the States and an example of great homegrown engineering. My understanding are many of the internal components are German with only the proprietary battery from China. Its fun just to admire the pieces in the hand and all the thought that went into them, obvious even from outward appearances. I highly recommend the purchase.
Now the long version with pros and cons.
My girlfriend is barely five two and weighs right at one hundred pounds. I am six two and 165 plus I‘ve been an avid runner and cyclist since elementary school. My GF, not so much. Shortly after we began dating I bought her a 2017 Giant Liv XS frame bicycle. It was her first “decent” bike ever, her previous bicycle experience was a very occasional rusty WalMart special. She is a trooper and will ride with me but her stamina and average speed left me with a lot of coasting and looking back to see where she was. I enjoyed the time being out but it was never a fitness experience for me.
Cut forward and both of us have had a couple experiences with E bikes while on vacation, including once with my 80 year old mom who took right to speeding on a beach with a Radwagon. I spent several months looking at different e bikes but it always came down to the same things. The bikes were too tall, rarely designed to truly pedal, heavy, and largely from China. My job takes me to China frequently and I am never impressed by their build durability. Everything has a mean time between failure component, it’s never if but when. I didn’t want my 100 pound girlfriend trying to pedal a heavy e bike she was not stable on pedaling back from any distance after a battery/motor/bike failure. And then I randomly came across the OneMotor website three months ago. It promised an awful lot, initially seemed expensive, and from an unknown company that may or not be around tomorrow.
After a couple emails back and forth talking to Grace, one of the principles, I rolled the dice. Bought the motor, extended battery, PAS, and wireless handlebar mounted controller. I also ordered the rear rack mount and the rack specified by Grace from Amazon.
The problems with USPS slowed delivery down but I eventually received a very well packaged box with all the OneMotor components. I was excited. But no dice. My GF is short enough that when the rack is mounted, there is no clearance for the motor mount to be attached. I was trying hard to keep any added weight as low as possible and I only wanted to mount the motor to the front tire as a last resort. I think a rear driven wheel is more stable for a low experience rider, personal preference. Also, the included mounts for the big battery didn’t work on her small frame. I searched the web, conversed with Grace, until I found King bottle cage mounts and also ordered the front fork AND kickstand motor mounts...I wanted to cover all bases.
It worked! The King bottle mounts are hose clamps with a screw thread welded on. Two of these will form a place to mount a water bottle cage almost anywhere on a bike. I used one and used one existing bottle cage hole on the frame. I also had to purchase a chainstay mounted kickstand because the motor needed the original spot. Once all parts were gathered, it took 15 minutes to get it all mounted. I think it looks good. Total added weight is only a bit over six pounds and I got it all low. She doesn’t even notice the additions when pedaling and the bicycle probably handles better.
And I think that is the key and the real advantage to the OneMotor...you are always still riding your favorite bike. With the motor retracted, my GF is pedaling a bike that fits her, she is used to, and is not intimidated by. And she flies! The Giant is so short geared, even in the tallest sprockets, much over 20 her legs are spinning! Her preferred riding setting is very low. Second to lowest speed rate and 25% assist from the motor. With that, she can comfortably cruise at 14-16 mph. Currently I also ride a short geared Giant with her, and that’s perfect for my heart rate. I want to try her pacing me while I ride my classic Cannondale, get a cruise of 18 or so set. We will see.
Pros:

Design and build quality...excellent. I could write pages about all the thought that went into this thing, it’s even cool to look at.
Light...bit over six pounds with the big battery, mounted low it’s a non issue.
Quick detach...it really does only take seconds. My GF and I travel in a small van. We store our bikes on the outside. 15 seconds to pop everything off and secure inside the vehicle. The actual bikes are only 250-300 dollar rides. If they get stolen it would suck but we would not be heartbroken. Plus all the components are designed to attach to each other and with a built in carry handle, bringing it inside is a cinch.
Tons of programmable settings, (also see cons)...the motor package is also an intense computer that lets you customize all kinds of stuff, it’s smart, we tend to leave it in that mode.
Grace is fantastic...it’s a small company and they are busy. Grace always took the time to make sure I was satisfied and kept me updated on order status as well as ideas for the small frame mounting.

Cons:

Tons of programmable settings....it’s almost too much info. I would do better with three choices and be done.
The wireless handlebar mounted controller...it packs a lot of power in a small package and not very big display. Probably fine for young eyes but as riders in our mid 50’s, I need my readers sometimes to verify what I have requested. The controller uses two buttons and a small joystick for input. There is no haptic feedback when selections are made. That combined with the small font means my GF usually has to pull over and stop to make changes, and borrow my glasses. Not a show stopper by any stretch but once again, for us, simpler is better. Maybe a mechanical three position switch with big screen only showing battery level for a future option.
Dirty...another small one but real. The motor on her bike is mounted under the kickstand spot. The motor gets warm and picks up grime from the road, even in dry conditions. It doesn’t harm anything, the motor and battery are sealed units, but when removing to store after a ride, leaves bare hands mildly grimy. I carry a small canvas tool bag when we ride now. Toss the motor package in there between uses with a paper towel, no issues with spreading dirt in the van.
Range with extended battery...so far disappointing. I fully charge just before we go. LED’s on charger show full. Once on the bike, it shows 93%. With my girlfriend only using 50% assist on dry, flat paved trail, she only got a bit over 20 miles, maybe 23 before the battery gave out. What was strange was the controller still showed 8 miles range left when it quit. I’ll keep monitoring the situation to see if it improves or we are doing something wrong. Other owners have posted better results even with the small battery.

To wrap it up, I am pleased and satisfied with the purchase. I know it’s expensive compared to all the rebranded stuff coming out of Asia nowadays. My GF and I are far from wealthy and it took some considering before I laid out the funds I could have bought two e bikes for. But then you get the OneMotor in the mail and use it, and I can’t believe I paid so little. The level of engineering is impressive and it seems aimed to be robust. My GF loves it and I think it has made our rides together better for the both of us. We both get our hear rates up now.

Couple of different mounts, one motor will quickly go between all your favorite bikes. On the road as an RV traveler? Keep the money part secured inside while your bargain bikes can stay outside. Getting up in years but want to stay independent with some range? This will be my mom’s Christmas present coming up. She gets to still ride her very favorite bike and keep up with the grand kids.

Thanks for the patience on the long read. I’ll post more after more experiences with the motor. It’s a great device. 438EDD6E-AC29-48A7-98E9-9D3CE4B8B7D7.jpegCB086723-C4D8-41E0-A99F-7C2E1C011387.jpegED9BD276-192A-455A-8695-B390BDF7BC25.jpeg
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pocomo

Active Member
Awesome report, thanks for the writeup! Your real-world mileage is in line with what I would expect from such a compact unit, and is probably a little under my needs. I have been doing more riding since stay-at-home began and now most of my joyrides are 27 - 32 miles.

Hows the noise from the unit?
 

Jakes Simmons

New Member
Thanks for the comment! It’s really quiet. And what noise it does make is unobtrusive. Kind of a low electric whirr. I am hoping the battery and range is a user issue. Last ride we did, my GF straight pedaled the first half of about eight miles. She never notices the motor addition. It was a gentle climb back and she kicked on the motor at 25% and P2 on the controller. We got back showing 24 miles left. But as in the review, I’m not sure how accurate that is. I’ll post some additional info after conversing with Grace again, see if I can get the battery range up. Your 27 to 32 would work with the big battery, but you would probably need to straight pedal the first third or so. Have a great one!
 

pocomo

Active Member
Are they still offering only a 6-month warranty? This was also pretty concerning to me, as it doesn't demonstrate faith in their own engineering.
 

Lin B

Active Member
Re: mileage. It totally depends on how you use it. After a year of use, I still get 20 miles on my small battery on flats in level 1 assist. I don't use throttle - it eats the battery. Level 2 only decreases battery use a tiny bit more than level 1 but using anything over level 2 does reduce range; Level 3 on flats gets me around 12-13 miles. I haven't tested more levels at any distance. Obviously your weight and bike weight and wind will affect all this. I highly recommend learning to either use the pause function on the controller or the "wiggle" on the pedals - you can easily extend your range to 30+ miles or more by pausing OM on the easy flat parts of your ride. After a while, it becomes automatic and you don't even really notice. I ride in a higher gear with the motor engaged and just drop down one gear on pause. Keeps the cadence exactly the same and feels like the same effort on the flats. But if you absolutely want to ride powered the entire time, YMMV literally.